I know the phrase is ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’, but usually that is only my money that does that. I have been to Las Vegas many times and seen many things. I will only be able to write a few of them down here, however. Such as the trip that I finally learned how to play craps.
So wife and I go to Vegas with a cousin and his wife. They are Vegas experts and this is my first time there. I had played blackjack before but was always interested in learning how to play craps. It always looked like the funnest place in the casino and I wanted to be a part of that. So I spent a lot of time on my first day there just watching others play. I didn’t pick up much that way. Day 2 of our week long trip we ended up going to a casino that was off the strip a bit called Sams Town. While walking around there they were actually offering craps lessons, for free. So we signed up. What they did was set up a craps table with 2 dealers (the craps guys are called dealers even though there are no cards) and they gave us fake chips then we began to play. They talked up the different levels of betting, what they meant, how you win with each one, what the odds were and some of the pitfalls. Then we places some bets and began to throw the dice. For the first few rolls things were pretty slow as they explained each roll, what it meant and what we would see the dealers and players doing after each roll but at a faster pace. After about an hour, we all felt like we could go play a basic level of craps and maybe not lose our shirts. So off we went to the Sams Club craps tables to try our luck. Making minimum $5 bets only, since we were still pretty nervous, my cousin managed to win $50 and I somehow managed to win $100! Woo hoo! We’re pros now!
Back to the strip I hit up Bally’s (where we were staying that trip) craps tables where I manage to win just over $200 on craps for the night. I am feeling pretty good right about now. On the next day we ventured to downtown where we went from casino to casino, never staying in any of them for longer than maybe 30 minutes. I tried to play in each one but pretty much just broke even for that day. Back to the strip saw us at Harrah’s where we both tried our new found skills again and 3 hours later I was up $300! The next day was incrementally better as I managed to be up almost $400 for the night on craps. I should mention that I was losing on blackjack, but thankfully not as much as I was winning. So our last night I was determined to win $600 or more just from craps. We shuffled around various casinos throughout the day and I just couldn’t get anything going. I would win $40 here, lose $50 there and was treading water all day long. That night we ended up at some little casino that was next to Bally’s and I started to get on a roll. I am hitting my points, buying the right numbers, even hitting on the occasional hard way and starting to build quite a stack. It approaches midnight and the wife tells me we got to go, we have to be up at 7 am to get out and on our way back home. I counted my stack and was only at $400, so I decided that I wasn’t leaving until I hit $600 or busted. She didn’t like that. The time seemed to just be a blur after that. 1 am, 2 am, 3 am and I am still there. Dealers have changed and at 4 am it is just me playing. I finally start to go back on a roll and the chips start rolling in. I am bumping my bets, taking odds and on a streak that is making me giddy. I managed to hit on at least a dozen points in a row and was raking in the chips. I just hit another point and raked in some more chips when I hear “You’re still here? Don’t you sleep? Hahaha” I look up and it is one of the table dealers that was there when I started around 9 PM. I check my watch and figure yeah, I might need at least an hour or two of sleep so I stop to assess my situation. I count my stack and have $800 even on my rack in front of me. Then I look down on the table and start counting my chips in play and count another $600!!!! I didn’t realize I was betting that much! Holy shit this gets addictive! However I WAS on a roll, and the rush was amazing, so I clawed back $250 of that and let the rest ride.
“Seven, craps!” yells the stickman. Holy shit, I just LOST $350!!! I am a cheap ass, what the hell was I doing! I consoled myself by realizing that I still had over $1000 in front of me, starting with only $100, so I tipped the guys for staying awake with me and left. That night has played on my mind often. I used to wonder how people can become gambling addicts. Just my little taste there I can see how it becomes addictive. The thrill at winning, the rush when you see the dice roll, it plays on your body chemistry. I am fortunate that I know this and so far have never had a problem. I take the approach that I only start with what I can lose and once gone, that’s it. I can feel, slightly, for those that get addicted. At least if they were winning often enough to get the joy of winning as part of that rush. When you get the people who never seem to win and their rush is merely the fact that they gambled, I don’t get.